LONDON — European markets closed slightly higher on Wednesday as new hawkish comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve policymaker kept investors hesitant.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index provisionally ended up 0.2%, with major bourses and sectors pointing in opposite directions. Household goods added 1.2% to lead gains, while mining stocks fell 1.8%.
British IT company Aveva rose 27% after French industrial conglomerate Schneider said it was considering a full buy out.
Meantime, Swedish security business Securitas fell to the bottom of the Stoxx 600, down 6%, following the release of its financial results.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Tuesday reiterated the central bank's commitment to bringing inflation under control through monetary policy tightening, and said his biggest fear is that the persistence of price pressures is underestimated.
The comments came as markets prepare for a much-anticipated speech from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday addressing the central bank's tightening path, following its annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posted a third consecutive day of a losses in the previous session. China's Shenzhen Component led losses regionally.
U.S. stocks traded slightly higher Wednesday morning as Wall Street tried to halt further losses ahead of Powell's speech on Friday.
Back in Europe, investors will be perusing the European Central Bank's accounts of its latest monetary policy discussions, due to be published on Wednesday.
Having hit a 20-year low of $0.9901 on Tuesday, the euro recovered slightly overnight to trade at $0.9950 by mid-morning in London on Wednesday.
U.S. stocks open flat
U.S. markets opened little changed Wednesday, following a three-day slide for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.
The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq were all broadly flat in early morning trade.
Investors are looking ahead to the three-day Jackson Hole economic symposium starting Thursday with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell slated to speak Friday morning.
— Karen Gilchrist
Schneider considers full buyout of Aveva
The news sent the British IT company's shares more than 32% higher. Schneider's shares rose 0.6%.
Schneider, which already owns nearly 60% of Aveva, said it had until Sept. 21 to decide whether to go ahead with the full buy-out.
— Karen Gilchrist
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